The Dallas Morning News

Still no sign of boy missing for a year

Irving police say case is cold but not closed

- By KATHERINE LEAL UNMUTH Staff Writer kunmuth@dallasnews.com

IRVING — A year ago, tiny 2year-old Elian Majano stepped into Irving’s Lively Park and disappeare­d.

Today, police are no closer to finding him than the day he went missing. A tip line set up in the case never drew many calls. “I live with a lot of anguish,” said Gilberto Bercian, 52, the boy’s father. “But I have this great faith and hope that God will do something, that they will find my little angel.”

Elian’s disappeara­nce June 21 touched off a frantic search by police, volunteers and bloodhound­s that didn’t turn up a single piece of clothing or the Spider-Man sandals he was wearing.

That evening, a sinkhole caused by a broken sewer main was discovered nearby, prompting suspicions that Elian fell into the hole. The next day, an Amber Alert was issued to tell people that Elian may have been abducted.

The department later faced criticism for using an alert be- cause there was no sign of a kidnapping. The city began repairing the damaged sewer lines after the problem was discovered.

Irving police spokesman David Tull said neither the abduction nor the sinkhole scenario can be ruled out.

“We’re in the same place we were as the day he went missing as far as determinin­g what happened to him,” Officer Tull said.

The evening of June 21, Elian’s mother, Yancy Majano, took him and his 4-year-old brother, Alexis, to the park. She told police she let the two out of the truck to play while she remained inside with a male friend.

The day after Elian went missing, Child Protective Services took custody of Alexis, citing inadequate supervisio­n by the mother and, later, her “inability to take some responsibi­lity” for Elian’s disappeara­nce.

During one hearing, there were accusation­s that Ms. Majano, 25, was having an affair. Elian’s parents are now separated, and his brother Alexis, now 5, is in the custody of an older half brother.

An Irving detective also testified that Alexis told investigat­ors “Elian fell” and pointed toward the hole.

Irving officials conducted an exhaustive search of sewer lines in the city for weeks. The Police Department even posted camera footage of the search on its Web site. Officer Tull said the department wanted to show the public its efforts to find the boy.

“I elected to put those video clips in there to give people an understand­ing of the steps we were taking,” he said.

The Web site also has a lengthy narrative of the events that happened and a recording of the original 911 call made by an onlooker since the boy’s mother did not speak English. Both parents are immigrants from El Salvador.

For more informatio­n on the case, go to www.irvingpd.com/ elianmajan­o.htm. The number for the tip line is 972-721-8080.

“There’s been no change,” Officer Tull said. “It may be a cold case, but by no means is it a closed case. We’re still looking into any and all possibilit­ies to bring this to a conclusion.”

Mr. Bercian now sees Alexis, his other son, on weekends. He said he believes Elian was kidnapped.

“He’s probably in someone’s hands,” he said. “I won’t lose hope that we’ll see him again until the day I die.”

 ??  ?? Elian Majano
Elian Majano

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